Saturday, February 6, 2016

Follow Up: Websites Visited in Finding Ancestral Gems Hidden in Digital Archives

We would like to thank Deborah Larsen for providing a wonderful presentation on Friday with just 24 hours notice. Debbie, You Rock!

As promised we are following up on this blog/website with the links to the various places Debbie visited during her presentation. She showed us we can find a variety of things online like historic photos, maps, diaries, school records, yearbooks, letters, memorial cards, aerial photos, funeral home records, business records, church records, film clips, oral history recordings, local and county histories, just to name a few.

To locate archives online, do a search engine search using search terms such as historical collections, digital collections, digital archive, local history archive, history database or digital library along with the name of your locality.

Here are the places we visited Friday during the presentation. (Each archive's name is a link to its website. Once you click the link you will be taken there. Then just bookmark the page for future use in your browser.)

Suburban Library Cooperative's Digital Archive
Almost all of our local libraries that belong to the Suburban Library Cooperative have a link on their website to the shared Digital Archive. Some libraries have contributed a lot and some just a little. Remember not everything has or will be digitized from a library's collection so visiting a library to do research is still a good idea. Search the digital archive by Surname, Locality, Event or a combination of these and other filters.

See our What Did You Find?! Wednesday post from October 2015 on Funeral Cards in the Digital Archive. 

Oakland Regional Historic Sites
Along with Oakland County sites, this is where you will find the Mount Clemens Property History for Mount Clemens, Michigan. You can perform a search in a variety of ways: property number, street name, street address, current or historic name, and even architectural class.

Digital Public Library of America
This website searches the internal database parts of participating member's websites that search engine sites like Google can not search. Again, you can search by Name, Location or Subject. As Debbie showed us sometimes a local resource can be found elsewhere where you would not expect it, like the Macomb County, Michigan, 1859 wall map ... beautifully scanned by the Boston Public Library in Massachusetts.

Oakland County Historical Resources
Another great regional resource combining the resources of various Oakland County, Michigan, libraries, societies, museums and a historical commission.

Detroit Public Library Digital Collections
The Detroit Public Library's digital archive includes items from the Burton Historical Collection, Ernie Harwell Sports Collection, National Automotive History Collection, E. Azalia Hackley Collection and the Rare Book Collection.

Can you find the photo of the singer with the blue suede shoes? Hint: just search by his first name.

Ontario Library Consortium
There are digital archives all over the world, including just across the river from us in Ontario. You'll find some of these digital archives use the same search software. Just apply what you learned to these other sites.

Chicago Public Library
The Chicago Public Library's digital archive includes a wide variety of times including neighborhoods, the theater, the construction of Chicago's sewers, the Civil War, and the Chicago Examiner newspaper.

HathiTrust Digital Library
At HathiTrust, you will find millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world. Though some items can only be searched, some items can be completely viewed. For many items you can download a PDF of a single page, the whole book or specific pages (like the front and back of the title page and a specific page or pages from the book). Learn more about downloading a only a portion of a book in the help area.

New York Public Library Digital Collections
There are almost 700,000 items digitized so far from the New York Public Library's collections including prints, maps, manuscripts, photographs, streaming video and more. About 180,000 of these items are in the public domain. On January 6, 2016, the NYPL announced that these items can now be downloaded directly from the website in the highest resolution available. Prior to this permission from NYPL had to be obtained.

These are just a few of the digital archives out there.

One of our members made the comment Friday that one of the reasons you come to genealogy meetings is to learn something new. It may not be what you expected to learn but you still learn.

Enjoy searching and discovering new things. Good luck.

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Breaking News: This Friday's Meeting has Change of Speaker and Topic

We received word that our planned speaker Karen Krugman is ill and will not be able to present her program tomorrow.

So instead ...

On Friday, February 5, at 1:00 p.m. in the Auditorium of the Mount Clemens Public Library, Deborah Larsen, MCPL assistant director, will present Macomb County Local History Digital Archive including the Mount Clemens Property History Database

Both the archive and database are wonderful resources for our area -- you will be amazed at what and who you can find.

If you are in the Mt. Clemens area, PLEASE JOIN US. 

See you soon at the Mt. Clemens Public Library!

Just Released: Now Includes 1940 Death Certificate Images

We learned that the Archives of Michigan has just finished loading the images for the 1940 Michigan Death Certificates onto its website.

So SeekingMichigan now has digitized Michigan Death Certificates from 1897-1940 with indexes up to 1952.

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

NEW Find My Past US Marriage Collection and Free Access to it until February 15

Find My Past is giving free access until February 15th to the first batch of records making up its brand new U.S. Marriage Collection.

Find My Past is calling it the largest collection of online U.S. marriage records. When completed between 2016/2017 the collection will include over 100 million records spanning the years from 1650 to 2010. It estimates that 60 percent of the records have never been published online before. As of today about 33 million records are available.

To see any attached marriage record images during this free access time period, you will need to sign-in. If you do not have a free account at Find My Past already, simply create one. 

The easiest way to create/register a free account is to do a search in the U.S. Marriage Collection then click on the "camera icon" to view an image for any item in the search results list. If you are not signed in, it will ask you to do so or to register a free account.  (A free account is not the same as a free trial subscription so do not click on the link to sign up for a free trial subscription.)

Have fun searching.

See you at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

News from Ancestry Regarding Family Tree Maker software's ... FUTURE

The February 2nd FTM Announcement
An email from arrived in my personal email inbox just after 5 p.m. today, I discovered it at 5:25 p.m.

Ancestry has announced that it is selling its Family Tree Maker genealogy desktop software to the developer of the program for the last six years Software MacKiev which will continue to develop the software. Future updates and new versions will come from Software MacKiev. Users will have continued access to Ancestry Hints, Ancestry searches and the ability to save your tree on Ancestry with Family Tree Maker in the future.

In the same announcement, announced an agreement with RootsMagic to connect Ancestry and the RootsMagic software by the end of 2016. This will give the RootsMagic genealogy software access to Ancestry hints, Ancestry searches and the ability to save your tree on Ancestry.

Read more about this announcement on the Blog.

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

Monday, February 1, 2016 Opens Five Databases for Free Access in February website has announced it's free databases for the month February. Since it is Black History Month, three of the databases are focused African American ancestors.

These databases are:
  • Hampden County, MA: Black Families in Hampden County, 1650-1865
  • People of Color in the Massachusetts State Census, 1855-1865
  • Massachusetts: 1855 State Census
  • Massachusetts: 1865 State Census
  • Free Negro Heads of Families in the United States in 1830

The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), which operates the AmericanAncestors website, has also created a guide to two of the databases and a case study called Search Spotlight: African American Records.

To access the free databases simply create a free guest user account if you do not already have one. If you are an NEGHS member, simply sign into your account.

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

Fold3 website's Black History Collection Free During the Month of February

Fold3 website
During the month of February the Fold3 website is offering free access to its Black History Collection. This includes "colored" troop service records, court slave records, Amistad records, slave registry, and anti-slave records.

Just register for a basic Fold3 membership which is free with no credit card required. If you already have a free Fold3 basic membership, just sign into the website. (You do not need to sign up for a 7-day free trial which requires a credit card.)

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!